Cheesy Taco Bow Tie Pasta Recipe



  • 1 box (16 oz) bow tie pasta (or any pasta of your choice)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1/2 block Velveeta cheese
  • 1/2 jar (about 1 cup) of your favorite salsa
  • Optional toppings: shredded cheese, additional salsa, chopped fresh cilantro, diced tomatoes


  1. Cook the bow tie pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the Velveeta cheese over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
  3. Once the Velveeta is melted, stir in the salsa until well combined. Set the cheese-salsa mixture aside.
  4. In a separate skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat until fully cooked, breaking it apart with a spoon as it cooks.
  5. Drain any excess grease from the cooked ground beef, then add the taco seasoning to the skillet. Stir well to coat the meat evenly with the seasoning.
  6. Combine the cooked pasta, seasoned ground beef, and cheese-salsa mixture in a large mixing bowl. Stir until everything is evenly coated and well combined.
  7. Transfer the Cheesy Taco Bow Tie Pasta to a serving dish. If desired, sprinkle shredded cheese on top and drizzle with additional salsa.
  8. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and diced tomatoes for added flavor and freshness, if desired.
  9. Serve hot and enjoy your delicious Cheesy Taco Bow Tie Pasta!

Optional variations:

  • Add diced onions, bell peppers, or black beans to the ground beef for extra flavor and texture.
  • For a spicier kick, use hot salsa or add diced jalapeños to the pasta.
  • Experiment with different types of cheese, such as shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack, for a unique flavor twist.
  • If you prefer a creamier texture, stir in a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt into the pasta before serving.

This Cheesy Taco Bow Tie Pasta recipe is quick, easy, and packed with flavor, making it a perfect weeknight dinner option for the whole family to enjoy!

Here are some tips to make your Cheesy Taco Bow Tie Pasta even more delightful:

  1. Enhance the Meat Seasoning: Instead of simply seasoning the ground beef with taco seasoning, consider adding additional spices to elevate the flavor. Mix in some chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and paprika for a more robust taco seasoning blend.
  2. Use Fresh Salsa: While jarred salsa works perfectly fine, using fresh salsa can add a burst of freshness and flavor to the dish. You can make your own salsa with diced tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapeños, lime juice, and salt.
  3. Incorporate Fresh Ingredients: Add some freshness and texture to the pasta by mixing in diced bell peppers, onions, or corn kernels along with the seasoned ground beef and cheese sauce.
  4. Experiment with Cheese: While Velveeta provides creaminess, you can enhance the flavor by using a combination of cheeses. Try mixing in shredded cheddar, Monterey Jack, or pepper jack cheese for a more complex cheese sauce.
  5. Add Creaminess: For an even creamier sauce, stir in a splash of heavy cream or half-and-half along with the cheese sauce. This will add richness and silkiness to the dish.
  6. Adjust Consistency: If the cheese sauce is too thick, thin it out with a bit of chicken or vegetable broth. If it’s too thin, simmer it for a few more minutes to allow it to thicken slightly.
  7. Customize the Toppings: Offer a variety of toppings for added flavor and texture. Options like diced avocado, sliced black olives, diced red onions, or chopped fresh cilantro can add a pop of color and freshness to the dish.
  8. Add Heat: If you like your pasta spicy, kick up the heat by adding diced jalapeños or a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to the cheese sauce or ground beef mixture.
  9. Garnish Creatively: Get creative with your garnishes. Sprinkle crushed tortilla chips or crumbled bacon on top for added crunch and flavor. A drizzle of hot sauce or a squeeze of fresh lime juice can also enhance the overall taste of the dish.
  10. Let it Rest: Allow the Cheesy Taco Bow Tie Pasta to rest for a few minutes after assembling to allow the flavors to meld together. This will result in a more cohesive and flavorful dish when served.

By incorporating these tips, you can take your Cheesy Taco Bow Tie Pasta to the next level and create a dish that’s even more delightful and satisfying!

Here are some secrets to achieving the perfect Cheesy Taco Bow Tie Pasta:

  1. Seasoning Balance: Achieve the perfect balance of flavors by adjusting the amount of taco seasoning used. Taste the seasoned ground beef before combining it with the pasta and cheese sauce to ensure it’s well-seasoned but not overly salty.
  2. Creamy Cheese Sauce: To ensure a smooth and creamy cheese sauce, cut the Velveeta into small cubes before melting it. This will help it melt more evenly and prevent clumping. Stir the cheese sauce continuously as it melts to ensure a smooth consistency.
  3. Controlled Heat: Cook the ground beef over medium heat to ensure even browning without burning. This allows the meat to develop rich flavor without becoming overly dry or greasy.
  4. Draining the Meat: Properly drain any excess grease from the cooked ground beef before adding the taco seasoning. This prevents the pasta from becoming greasy and ensures a cleaner, more enjoyable dish.
  5. Salsa Selection: Choose a salsa with flavors that complement the dish. Opt for a chunky salsa with a balance of sweetness, acidity, and spice to enhance the overall flavor profile of the pasta.

  6. Al Dente Pasta: Cook the bow tie pasta just until al dente, as it will continue to cook slightly when mixed with the cheese sauce and heated. Overcooked pasta can become mushy and lose its texture, so be mindful of the cooking time.
  7. Proper Mixing: Mix the cooked pasta, seasoned ground beef, and cheese sauce together gently but thoroughly to ensure that each bite is evenly coated with the creamy cheese sauce and seasoned meat.
  8. Consistency Adjustment: If the cheese sauce is too thick, thin it out with a splash of milk or chicken broth until you reach the desired consistency. Conversely, if the sauce is too thin, simmer it for a few extra minutes to allow it to thicken slightly.
  9. Garnish Strategically: Garnish the finished dish with toppings that add both flavor and texture. Consider options like diced tomatoes, sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, or crushed tortilla chips for a colorful and crunchy finish.
  10. Resting Time: Allow the Cheesy Taco Bow Tie Pasta to rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and the sauce to thicken slightly, resulting in a more cohesive and flavorful dish.

By following these secrets, you’ll be well on your way to creating the perfect Cheesy Taco Bow Tie Pasta that’s creamy, flavorful, and irresistibly delicious!

Here are some popular questions and answers related to the Cheesy Taco Bow Tie Pasta recipe:

  1. Can I use a different type of pasta? Yes, you can use any type of pasta you prefer for this recipe. Penne, rotini, fusilli, or even spaghetti would work well. Just adjust the cooking time according to the package instructions for the chosen pasta shape.
  2. Is there a substitute for Velveeta cheese? If you prefer not to use Velveeta, you can substitute it with another type of processed cheese, such as American cheese, or a combination of shredded cheeses like cheddar, Monterey Jack, or Colby.
  3. Can I make this recipe ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare the Cheesy Taco Bow Tie Pasta ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. Reheat it gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving, adding a splash of milk to loosen the sauce if needed.
  4. How spicy is this dish? The spiciness of the dish can be adjusted based on the type of taco seasoning and salsa used. If you prefer a milder version, choose mild taco seasoning and salsa. For a spicier kick, opt for medium or hot varieties.
  5. Can I add vegetables to this recipe? Absolutely! Feel free to add diced bell peppers, onions, corn kernels, or black beans to the pasta for added flavor, texture, and nutritional value. Sauté the vegetables with the ground beef or stir them in with the cheese sauce and pasta.
  6. How long does this dish last in the refrigerator? Cheesy Taco Bow Tie Pasta can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat individual servings as needed in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through.
  7. Can I freeze this dish? While you can freeze Cheesy Taco Bow Tie Pasta, keep in mind that the texture of the pasta may change slightly upon thawing. Portion the cooled pasta into freezer-safe containers or bags and store it in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  8. What toppings can I add? Popular toppings for Cheesy Taco Bow Tie Pasta include shredded cheese, diced tomatoes, sliced black olives, chopped cilantro, diced avocado, sour cream, or crushed tortilla chips. Customize the toppings based on your preferences.
  9. Is this dish gluten-free? To make this dish gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta and ensure that the taco seasoning and salsa are also gluten-free. Check the labels carefully to avoid any gluten-containing ingredients.
  10. Can I make this dish vegetarian? Yes, you can make a vegetarian version of Cheesy Taco Bow Tie Pasta by omitting the ground beef and using additional vegetables, beans, or meat substitutes like tofu or tempeh as a protein source.

These are some common questions and answers related to the Cheesy Taco Bow Tie Pasta recipe, which can help you prepare and customize this delicious dish to suit your needs and preferences.